Safer Food Choices for People With Weakened Immune Systems

At a glance

Learn what foods and beverages to avoid consuming if you have a weakened immune system and which foods and beverages are safer options.

Two immunocompromised people - one on dialysis and one with glucose monitor for diabetes

Why it's important

People with weakened immune systems have a higher risk of food poisoning. That's because a weakened immune system may make it more difficult for your body to fight germs and sickness effectively. Weakened immune systems may be due to diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease, alcoholism, HIV, autoimmune disorders (such as lupus), or receiving chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

To prevent food poisoning, some foods are safer choices than others. That's because some foods—such as undercooked meat and eggs, unwashed fruits and vegetables, and unpasteurized milk—are more often associated with foodborne illnesses. Use the table below as a guide to safer food choices.

Safer food choices for people with weakened immune systems

Prevent food poisoning

Always follow the four steps to food safety—clean, separate, cook, and chill—to protect yourself from food poisoning.

Learn about current foodborne outbreaks and the foods linked to them.